Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Data, Data and more Data

For the past ten days I have been involved in a important,but very tedious task.
I started shooting digital in 2001 exactly ten years ago. At the beginning I used CDs to archive all my images. This was the most cost effective method as hard disks were small and expensive.
Cost of HD Via BoingBoing
For extra protection I wrote two discs. One was kept in my studio and one was stored off site (sounds better than in the shed!). This was OK as files were relatively small at around 4MB each.
In 2004 I changed camera and computer. Now most files were about 13MB and my computer could write DVD's. By early 2011 my archive had grown to 9 PhotoCDs 329 CDs and 220 DVDs  plus 6 internal and external HD's, where I stored files I needed on a regular basis.

The net result was rather chaotic, so rationalisation was needed.
The first thing was to purchase two 2TB drives and enclosures. Each disc would have enough space to store everything I had and the second disc was used as a mirror of the first. Then came the tedious bit, reading every CD and DVD back onto the computer crosschecking the files were on the Hard Drives  and recreating folders so I can find everything, then write these files back to the two 2TB drives.

This is now done The files need to be assessed and edited as a large proportion of clients from ten years ago are no longer in existence.
It has been lots of work. I also found that my early archive methods were not very efficient as several sets of files were archived in several places and some jobs seem never to have been saved at all, and a couple of discs had corrupted files.. The best thing for me is that I now have easy access to everything I have ever shot, I have space on the Hard Drives for another year or two of shooting and then I will be able to buy 4TB discs for the same price as the 2TB cost when I bought them. I also no longer have to worry about the long term stability of the DVD and CD discs I am free of the cost in time and money of creating DVDs and I space again when I get rid of the discs.


Mike said...

Sounds like a lot of work but worth it! Do you know why the files were corrupted on the DVDs? Was this damage to the DVD or during recording or just no way to know?

Ian Goodrick said...

It looks like missing data of the CD's. When a file was opened an error message about an "unrecognisable end to the file" the thumbnail also showed part of the file missing. All slightly strange, but at least now all my data is of Cd/DVDs and back on HDs.